MOSUL -- Iraq is facing the challenge of returning civilians to their homes in Mosul, a city destroyed by war.
What remains in the city are largely rows of collapsed shop fronts and ruined houses in air strikes and artillery attacks. Faced with this level of destruction, rebuilding seems an arduous task.
The Shia militia has been supporting the troops, and few civilians remain in the wreckage of the old city.
But they're keen to point out that their role is supportive, not military, and their goal is to rebuild, not divide.
"That's our country. When we see, you know, our city destroyed like this, it hurts us from inside. You know. But (there's) nothing to do, we need to cut off the ISIS from this city to make peace. We came here to make peace," said Sattar al Jilehawi, a volunteer with the People's Mobilization Forces.
The first challenge will be maintaining security.
Montazar is one of the special forces soldiers who fought to retake the city.
He showed the China Global Television Network (CGTN) a hole in the ground where suicide bombers had remained hidden even after the area was secured.
Some reconstruction is underway. Running water and sanitation pipes are the first priority.
Mosul residents are desperate to get to their homes, and those areas that are secure are now jammed with traffic, but huge frustration too.
One family, like many others, returned to find their home in the old city destroyed.
"We don't have anything, only god is helping us. We have no income. My kids used to be employed as laborers, but now there is no work," said Rroba Ali Ismail, a member of the family.
The Mosul operation began in mid-October last year and the city was declared liberated on Monday by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. In total, 80 percent of the city as a whole has reportedly suffered damage or been destroyed by fighting, leaving behind a mammoth task of rebuilding.
Priti Patel, the International Development Secretary, announced on Thursday (July 13) Britain is transferring £40 million of aid to help the people of Mosul rebuild their lives.
The UK will also give extra funding to boost the UN mission in Iraq and Mosul as part of its stabilization program, according to Patel.